Taking Care of Yourself: Recharging & Refreshing Every Day
Everyone loves vacations! --Travel to far away places, cabins on the Hood canal or Whidbey Island, camping, or just staying home and hiking in our nearby mountains. It’s all good. With spring in full gear, we can all taste summer right around the corner.
Vacations and holidays provide a contrast to our hectic workaday lives. They help us feel restored, rested, and relaxed. It’s fun to anticipate our time off.
But vacations are few and far between. While anticipating pleasant events in the future can be energizing, what about today? How can I take daily mini vacations and weekly stay-cations?
In addition to vacations, it’s important to build into your daily life what I like to call mini-tranquility breaks. And it’s equally important to have time on your days off which are a mini-vacation. What does this require?
It’s difficult. There are so many demands in everyday life it is difficult to carve out moments for yourself. But you can—it takes discipline, commitment, and an eye to what is possible. Convenience is very important too.
I work in an office that has a nice place to walk. Sometimes, even on a busy day, I will take a 15-minute power walk, with earphones plugged into my favorite rock music. I come back to my office feeling recharged and refreshed.
When our kids were little, we would stick them in front of the tube (I know, we were bad…) and my wife and I would take turns watching their program on our Nordic Track exercise machine. Frequently, we could get in 30 minutes of exercise. We always felt better afterwards.
I have developed a meditation practice over the years, which is part of my Aikido martial arts training, and I have found a way to practice an hour a day in the early morning. If I am able to manage 5 mornings a week (sometimes I just cant bare getting up so early…), I figure that I am receiving an extra 250 hours or 6 weeks of vacation a year! Wow!
My wife has been taking ballet classes since she was 8 years old. In her mid-sixties she is still taking a ballet class every week! I know some adults who arrange for a massage every month. I know some folks who have been part of a book group for years—giving them an opportunity to read books that they might not get to otherwise. I know others that have been part of daily walking group.
Since I spend so much of my week with others, I like to spend a little time on the weekend by myself. I enjoy my own company. There is a small restaurant that I love to go to and have lunch on Saturday—all by myself. I’m pretty boring—I always order my same favorite dish. But that single hour is my weekly stay-cation.
I know. It’s very hard to balance your needs with everyone else’s. But creating moments of tranquility and peace on a daily basis could start with just 5 minutes! Stop what you are doing; close your eyes, and breathe. Step outside for 5 minutes and look at our beautiful Northwest landscape. Take a hot bath on a cold, wet day. Lock the door!
This is all about learning to take care of yourself. It is something we all have to learn to do. It does take commitment, discipline, and awareness.
What do you do that helps you recharge on a regular basis? Share your hints with others! We can learn from each other!